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Hours After Biden Inauguration, Federal Agents Use Tear Gas in Portland

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PORTLAND, Ore. — Protesters within the Pacific Northwest smashed home windows at a Democratic Occasion headquarters, lit a trash hearth and burned an American flag on Wednesday night time in a raucous problem by antifascist and racial justice protesters to the brand new administration of President Biden, whose promised reforms, they declared, “received’t save us.”

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In Portland, Ore., there have been scenes of tear fuel, smashed home windows and features of brokers in camouflage — now working below the Biden administration — who confronted a crowd outdoors an Immigration and Customs Enforcement constructing close to downtown.

One other tense protest in Seattle noticed dozens of individuals push their means by means of the streets, with some breaking home windows, spray-painting anarchist insignia and chanting not solely about ICE, however the many different points that roiled America’s streets final 12 months below the administration of former President Donald J. Trump.

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“No Cops, Prisons, Borders, Presidents,” mentioned one banner, whereas one other proclaimed that the battle over racial justice, policing, immigration and company affect within the nation was “not over” merely as a result of a brand new president had been inaugurated in Washington, D.C.

“A Democratic administration shouldn’t be a victory for oppressed individuals,” mentioned a flier handed out throughout the demonstrations, throughout which protesters additionally smashed home windows at a store typically described as the unique Starbucks in downtown Seattle. The communiqués used expletives to sentence Mr. Biden and “his silly” crime invoice, handed in 1994 and blamed for mass incarcerations within the years since.

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Hours after the inauguration of Mr. Biden, federal brokers in Portland used tear fuel and different crowd-control munitions to disperse demonstrators who had gathered to protest the cruel arrest and detention practices wielded by federal immigration authorities below the Trump administration.

Mr. Biden has signaled that immigration goes to be a key challenge of his presidency, utilizing some of his first executive orders on Wednesday to finish building of the border wall and bolster this system that gives deportation protections for undocumented immigrants who have been introduced into the nation as kids.

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The battle in Portland capped a day of demonstrations within the liberal metropolis, the place totally different teams of protesters both decried Mr. Biden or known as for activism to stress the brand new president to take forceful motion on immigration, local weather change, well being care, racial justice and earnings inequality.

Earlier within the day, a gaggle of about 200 individuals — a mixture of racial justice, antifascist and anarchist activists — marched to the native Democratic Occasion headquarters, the place a few of them smashed home windows and tipped over rubbish containers, lighting the contents of 1 on hearth. “We don’t need Biden — we wish revenge,” mentioned one signal, referring to killings dedicated by cops.

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In a metropolis that has seen months of demonstrations over racial injustice, financial inequality, federal regulation enforcement and company energy — and among the harshest regulation enforcement responses to such protests — protesters have vowed to proceed their actions irrespective of who’s president. “We’re ungovernable,” one signal within the crowd mentioned.

In Seattle, about 150 individuals marched by means of the streets. Some spray-painted buildings with an anarchist image and broke home windows, together with at a federal courthouse. They chanted each anti-Trump and anti-Biden slogans.

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One member of the group handed out fliers to individuals on the road that mentioned, “Biden received! And so did company elites!” The fliers defined {that a} “Democratic administration shouldn’t be a victory for oppressed individuals” and that “Biden is not going to save us.”

“I got here out right here as a result of it doesn’t matter what occurs, Biden and Kamala aren’t sufficient,” mentioned one of many protesters, Alejandro Quezada Brom, 28, referring to Vice President Kamala Harris. He mentioned the brand new president must know that “the stress’s not off” for progress on immigration and policing reforms.

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Seattle cops adopted the group and commenced to encompass it as night time fell. A minimum of two protesters gave the impression to be arrested.

At one more demonstration in Portland, individuals gathered to listen to audio system who celebrated Mr. Trump’s departure but additionally known as for continued stress on the brand new authorities.

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“The battle has simply begun,” mentioned Ray Austin, 25. He mentioned that the injury accomplished by Mr. Trump couldn’t be undone by the likes of Mr. Biden and that the nation wanted a groundswell of individuals demanding extra.

Audio system on the occasion known as for a Inexperienced New Deal to battle local weather change, a “Medicare for All”-style medical health insurance system, overhauls of police departments to deal with racial disparities and different elementary modifications.

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Within the aftermath of George Floyd’s dying in Minneapolis final Could, protesters in Portland mobilized on the streets nightly, a lot of their ire focused on the mayor and the police pressure that repeatedly used tear fuel to subdue them. The crowds swelled throughout the summer season after Mr. Trump issued an government order to guard federal property and agents wearing camouflage brought a crackdown to the city.

These conflicts have since subsided, however protesters in Portland have continued to mobilize.

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Mike Baker reported from Portland, and Hallie Golden from Seattle.

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